Vitali Klitschko made one statement with his fists, and another with his words. Both came through loud and clear in a dominating title defense that elevated him to the top of a...

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LAS VEGAS — Vitali Klitschko made one statement with his fists, and another with his words. Both came through loud and clear in a dominating title defense that elevated him to the top of a crowded list of heavyweight champions.

Klitschko staked his claim to being the true heavyweight champion last night, knocking down Danny Williams four times and giving him a serious beating before stopping him in the eighth round.

He then dedicated the win to democracy in his native Ukraine, where he planned to head today to support the opposition presidential candidate.

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“I feel this was the best performance of my career,” Klitschko said. “But this victory was not just for me, but also for democracy in the Ukraine.”

Klitschko retained his WBC heavyweight title in a lopsided fight that left Williams bloodied, battered and barely able to see.

Williams (32-4) was taken to a local hospital for a brain scan after the fight. Klitschko (35-2) also went to have X-rays taken of his swollen hands to see if either was broken from hitting the London resident’s head so many times.

Williams remained game even after the final knockdown in the eighth round, getting up at the count of nine and wanting to continue. But referee Jay Nady decided he had taken enough punishment and waved the fight to a close at 1:26 of the round.

“I feel I am the real heavyweight champion,” Klitschko said. “I’m willing to fight anybody.”

Klitschko, who owns one of the three major heavyweight titles, made a case for being the best of the champions in a dominating effort.

Klitschko did something Mike Tyson couldn’t do against Williams, knocking him down in the first round and punishing him so much that Williams couldn’t come back, as he did in his upset win over Tyson.

Williams rarely got inside the 6-foot-7 champion’s stiff jab.

Notes

• Ex-lightweight champion Paul Spadafora was jailed after a urine test showed he apparently used cocaine, authorities in Pittsburgh said.

Spadafora turned himself in to authorities on Friday after violating terms of his bond, said sheriff’s Lt. Jack Kearney. Spadafora, 29, had been free on bond but under house arrest while awaiting his Dec. 20 trial on attempted homicide.

• Former heavyweight champion George Foreman wants his name off an Omaha, Neb., meat company.

Foreman, whose name also appears on a line of popular grills, testified Friday that former associates in George Foreman Foods Inc. “broke every piece of the contract” with him.